When I moved to Georgia I would see this evergreen plant in the forests and sometimes in peoples yards. I did not learn till years later that the berries it produces are edible. A follower of mine @goat-girlz mentioned they are indeed edible and can be used to make a jam. She goes on saying they can be found throughout the forests in Oregon, probably where it got its name. Georgia shares similar climates to Oregon in some areas so makes sense it grows in both places.
I made the jam last year and it had a flavor like Cranberries. The jam was a dark crimson red color and only yielded a few tablespoons once cooked down. If eaten raw they can be very sour like a lemon. This spring the plant flowered and produced fruit again, but I must be quick as the birds will eat them all the day they are ripe. They turn a dark blue color when ripe and feel a little soft.
These plants are like hollies with stiff pointy leaves, care needs to be taken handling them as they can pierce the skin. The plants I bought have been around for about five years now and are really starting to leaf out. I moved one of them as I planted both of them too close together when I got them. Moving one about a hundred feet away from the other. Interestingly when I pulled up one of the plants, I found the roots a bright yellow color like Turmeric. Not something I see much and found it interesting.
Oregon Grape also known as a Leatherleaf Mahonia is a great plant for my Bees. The flowers form in late winter and open usually a week or so before the Solitary Bees emerge. Since not much else is flowering at the time the Bees tend to cover this plant and really do a good job pollinating them and making fruit appear all over the plant.
The plant has origins from mainland China and Taiwan and was brought to Europe at some point and then found its self in America.